Identifying Different Bugs and Bug Bites

When you wake up one morning and find an itchy red spot on your body, it’s likely that this itchy spot is a bug bite. How do you know if it’s something you can brush off or if it’s something more concerning? It’s important to know common bugs in your area and how to recognize their bites so you can be prepared if you are ever bitten by these bugs.

While there may be some bugs that are unique to your area, we have a list here of common bugs throughout the United States that may bite you.  Some of these bugs are more dangerous than others, but it’s important to know how to recognize each of these bugs and their bites. Recognizing these bugs will also help you find ways to prevent them from coming into your home.

Identifying Different Bugs and Bug Bites

Common Bug Bites


Ants are an extremely common pest throughout the world. You can recognize ants by their small-size, six legs, three body sections, and two antennae. Depending on the variety of ant,  they may be as small as the head of a pin or up to two inches long (however, ants that big only live in places like the Amazon).

In the United States, you’re most likely to come across sugar ants, carpenter ants, or fire ants, though there are other types of ants around as well. Sugar ants can bite you, however, their tiny mouths will only feel like a tiny pinch and shouldn’t harm you at all unless you have an allergic reaction.

Carpenter ants and fire ants are a different story though. Carpenter ants will put acid into the bite which will make it much more painful. And fire ants will bite you first to grip on to your skin, and then it will sting you as well. You will be able to tell if you were attacked by a fire ant because the bite/sting will have a burning sensation and may develop small blisters.


Spiders are eight-legged creepy crawlies that come into your home looking for food and shelter. They will typically hide in your home and in quiet, dark areas of the house. Spiders are rarely aggressive and will only attack humans when they are threatened. An occasional spider is easy enough to get rid of on your own, but if you have an infestation, call professionals to get the best pest control for managing spiders.

Non-Venomous Spiders

Most of the spiders you find in your home will be non-venomous, at least to humans. But they can still bite if provoked. Spider bites will look like a red mark with two puncture wounds close to each other from the spider’s pincers. The bite may itch, but shouldn’t be much of a problem for most people. Some people may have an allergic reaction, and they should be taken to the doctor.

Venomous Spiders

There are two spiders in the United States that are venomous to humans. These are the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. You can recognize the black widow by its pitch-black color and the red hourglass shape on its stomach. The coloring on black widows can vary, but this is the common appearance for these spiders. Black widow bites can look similar to other spider bites but have a toxin that affects the nervous system.

Brown recluse spiders are recognizable by a brown violin shape on their body. At first, their bites may look similar to other spider bites as well, but the venom in brown recluse spiders causes necrosis around the wound, so it can turn into a painful sore as the tissue dies. If you or anyone in your family is bitten by either of these spiders, you will need medical attention immediately.


Mosquitoes are spindly little bugs that can fly and drink human blood. They’re typically present in the summer and prefer living around standing water so they can lay their eggs nearby. Mosquito bites are not always visible immediately. Sometimes the itching starts immediately, sometimes after a couple of days. The bites tend to be red and can swell into a hard bump.

As long as the bites are not scratched, the bite itself is typically not very concerning. However, if it is scratched, the bite may develop an infection. And while the bite itself may not be terribly concerning, mosquitoes are known for carrying diseases such as the West Nile Virus which can be dangerous to humans. So avoiding mosquito bites as much as possible is important for you and your family.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs also like to drink blood. These wingless creatures typically hitchhike into homes on clothing or furniture. At that point, they usually find a bed to live near and feed while people are resting. Bed bugs are not known to spread dangerous diseases to humans, however, their bites are uncomfortable.

Bed bug bites look like red bumps on your skin and may be similar in size to a mosquito bite. However, the bites are typically clustered or in lines of three or more bites. The bites are not painful when received, but they can become itchy and uncomfortable later on. Bed bugs are resistant to pesticides, so if you want to get rid of bed bugs, the best pest control will be professional pest control. Bed bugs require special treatments that are best performed by experts.

How to Prevent Bugs and Bites

The best way to make sure you don’t have to worry about these bug bites is to make sure these bugs don’t come into your home in the first place. You can keep them from coming inside by making sure your home has all of the cracks and gaps sealed up.

But the best pest control you’ll probably find is professional pest control. Professional pest control treats your house to prevent pests from coming in in the first place. Their treatments are much more powerful and effective than pesticides you will find that most stores. So to keep yourself and your family safe from bug bites, make sure to use your best pest control options.

You May Also Like